Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Theory of Second Best by J. Bengtsson (audiobook)

Title:  The Theory of Second Best
Author: J. Bengtsson
My Rating: A
Narrator: Zachary Webber and Andi Arndt

Genre: New Adult Romance 
Series: Cake #2
Main Characters: Kyle and Kenzie
Release Date: April 2017 (audiobook)
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
Twenty-two-year-old Kyle McKallister has lived his life in the shadows. Younger brother to one of the world’s most elusive and embattled celebrities, Kyle has carved out a comfortable existence touring with his famous brother and living in the lap of luxury with no commitments or plans of his own, only a deep, haunting loyalty to his brother. But his life is about to be shaken up when the opportunity comes to compete on a popular reality show. 

Small town girl Kenzie Williams has come on the show for one thing only: to win. But when a disastrous start forces her to rely on an eclectic band of misfits, she finds herself immediately smitten with a handsome and mysterious cast mate. 

But life on the island is just a game. Can Kyle and Kenzie’s fragile spark survive the pressures of the real world? 

My Review:
Overall: 4.5
Performance: 4.25
Story: 4.5

I don't watch much TV, but I do watch Survivor. As a result, I loved this book which takes place on the reality show Stranded

Kyle is the hero of this book. He's the younger brother to Jake, the hero of the first book in the Cake series. Kyle has spent his life playing second fiddle to his brother...for the most part, happily. He doesn't think that he ever deserves more than second best. This time on the island is the first time he's really been able to be his own person, rather than Jake McCallister's brother...because he doesn't confess who he is for the first few weeks on the island. 

Kenzie is a woman looking for more in her life. She's spent her young life caring for her triplet siblings after their mother died in childbirth. Now the triplets are 16 and fairly self-sufficient. Kenzie hopes to win the money and be able to leave and strike out on her own to explore living her own life. 

The meet-cute for Kenzie and Kyle is AWESOME! One word...seasickness. Poor Kenzie. Her utter mortification and embarrassment for that first twenty-four hours is just classic. I was both cringing and laughing in embarrassment for her. But that's what makes Kyle such a great hero in this book. He really is just a great guy. He lets things roll off his back and doesn't leave anyone feeling bad about anything that happens. But honestly Kenzie is like that, too. 

I loved both of them. They are great characters who have really drawn the short end of a lot in life. There were moments, especially toward the end of the book where my heart was completely broken. Kyle's speech with Jake...sob. OMG, the author rocked that whole scene. 

The story was so good. I really adored the first book, and liked this one almost as much. It's official....J. Bengtsson is easily an auto-buy author for me now. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Art of Keeping Secrets by Rachael Johns

Title: The Art of Keeping Secrets
Author: Rachael Johns
My Rating: A

Genre: Womens Fiction
Series: -
Main Characters: Neve, Elle, and Flick
Release Date: August 2017
Publisher: Mira Books
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: mild

Story Overview:
Some Secrets Weren't Meant to Be Kept... 

They started out as the "misfit moms"--the trio of less-than-conventional parents at their sons' tony private school. They've shared everything. Or so they thought. Now, on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to New York City, they'll sightsee, they'll shop, they'll catch a few Broadway shows. They'll tell all...

After seventeen years as a single parent, Neve will reveal a past sin that could destroy her relationship with her son. Emma will uncover the roots of her exhaustion and divulge the inappropriate feelings she has for her boss. And Flick--who knows a little about crafting a flawless exterior--will share the shocking truth that lies beneath the veneer of her perfect marriage.

When the tight hold they've each kept on their secrets for years begins to slip, they must face the truth. Even if the truth will forever alter the course of their friendship and their lives.

My Review:
As a general rule, I am not a fan of women's fiction, but this book really worked for me. 

This story followed the lives of three best friends as their lives slowly unravel around the secrets they've been hiding. They tell one another least that's what they thought. They've been brought together as friends through their three sons who are finishing up their senior year.

There's Neve...the makeup artist. She's a single mum to her only son.
There's Emma...the travel agent. She has two three teenagers and a jerk of an ex who's always buying off her kids affections to make up for the fact none of them like his new wife.
Then there's Flick...the taxidermist. From the outside she has a perfect life with her incredible husband, Seb. 

It's hard to talk about this book without giving away any story line spoilers, but just know this story is filled with incredible emotion and suspense. Just when I thought it had hit the peak for drama, something else shocking would happen. It was truly a difficult book to put down...and I dare you not to read ahead. (Hint: I am NOT a read-ahead kind of girl, but with these storylines I couldn't help myself.)

The one constant through the book is that the friends are there for one another. Yes, they get angry and they fight, but when the crap hits the fan, they have one another's backs. This is also a great book about what really is important. There is a LOT of drama...especially at the beginning of the story, but as things begin to unravel, the characters themselves begin to see that sometimes those nit-picky little annoyances just plain don't matter. 

Warning: This is women's fiction which means not everyone is guaranteed to end up in a happy place. There was one story that made me sick throughout the book just because it was so dang stressful and impossible. My heart hurt in so many different ways. Note: The author did an amazing job showing the stress of the situation in a really realistic-feeling light, but made me feel nauseous at times just because to put myself in the same position as the, so, so, so incredibly difficult. And I'll admit, I'm not sure on how that story line ended. I noticed a few other readers asking for a followup story. I think I need that for this particular story line. I know how I want to imagine their story came out a few years later, but I don't know if that's even possible. Stressful...yes! This one part of the story most definitely gave me a book hangover and I don't think I will be forgetting these characters for a long time to come. verdict. Yeah, women's fiction is sometimes really difficult for me. But this book and the story of the lives of these three women were so intriguing, I didn't want to put it down. For me, that made it a great story to read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

Holiday in the Hamptons by Sarah Morgan

Title: Holiday in the Hamptons
Author: Sarah Morgan
My Rating: A+

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: From Manhattan with Love #5
Main Characters: Felicity and Seth
Release Date: August 2017
Publisher: Harlequin
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
The perfect summer escape…?

Professional dog-walker Felicity Knight loves everything about New York…until her ex-husband starts working at her local vet clinic. She hasn’t seen Seth Carlyle in ten years, but one glimpse of him – too gorgeous, and still too good for her – and Fliss’s heart hurts like their whirlwind marriage ended yesterday. So when her grandmother in The Hamptons needs help for the summer, it seems the perfect way to escape her past…

Their relationship might only have lasted a few scorching months, but vet Seth knows Fliss – if she’s run away to The Hamptons, it’s because she still feels their connection and it terrifies her. He let her go once before, when he didn’t know any better, but not this summer! With the help of his adorable dog Lulu, and a sprinkling of beachside magic, Seth is determined to make Fliss see that he’s never stopped loving her…
My Review:
Second chance at love stories are quickly becoming my favorite trope and this book is a prime example as to why. It was so good! So much emotion...I found myself tearing up several times throughout the story. 

So this story...
Fliss is one of three siblings. She's a twin with Harriet and they have an older brother (Daniel, I think, if I'm remembering right). They all grew up with the fear of their father, whose temper was legendary. He and Fliss were the two that got into it the most. Their summers were their escape when they'd all flee to the Hamptons, someplace their father rarely went. That changed on the twins 18th birthday. He showed up, ruining the day. Fliss escaped to the beach where she ran into 22 yo Seth. Seth was one of her brother's best friends. While he was comforting her, things got a bit out of control...and that's really all the reader knows.

Because then the book picks up 10 years later when Fliss lives in NYC and runs a dog-walking business with her twin sister. She's heard from Daniel that Seth is in town, in her area of town, working at the vet clinic where she takes her client's dogs. Not cool. She cannot run into him. So, when the opportunity arises to go help her grandmother in the Hamptons, Fliss runs. 

What she doesn't know is that Seth was just in NYC temporarily and that he lives in the Hamptons. Oh, and he just happens to be the first person she runs into. 

This story was so good. My heart hurt for both characters, but especially for Fliss. She grew up learning to protect herself by hiding her emotions. To show vulnerability of any sort to her father and he would exploit that. So, she's learned to bite back her responses, never allow herself to feel. 

Seth knows all this. He and Fliss may not have been married for long, but he knows her better than anyone, possibly even better than her twin sister, Harriett does. 

Their marriage may have ended, but the feelings never did for either of these characters. Fliss ran. Seth made the mistake of not chasing after her. But he's older now. He's not planning to make that mistake again. 

Like I said, this book was just everything. It was emotional and sweet and heart-wrenching. I fell in love with both Seth and Fliss. I loved them, especially as they began to sort through things. Seth is the kind of guy that makes women swoon. He's going to fight for Fliss, for them, this time and that's a gorgeous thing. 

I loved this story! Highly recommend!!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review, but purchased a print copy of the book to have on my keeper shelf.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Say No More by Liliana Hart

Title: Say No More
Author: Liliana Hart
My Rating: A

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series:  Gravediggers #3
Main Characters: Dante and Eva
Release Date: August 2017
Publisher: Pocket Books
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
Return to New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Liliana Hart’s romantic suspense series, the Gravediggers, with this thrilling game of cat and mouse between a member of the Gravediggers and the brilliant woman hot on his heels.

Sometimes the dead do rise…

Dante Malcolm is a man of refined tastes. He was once a part of Britain’s Elite Intelligence Force, but there was a reason he’d never been able to capture Simon Locke, the notorious thief who always seemed to be one step ahead. That’s because Dante and Simon were one and the same, until Dante’s double life eventually caught up with him and now he belongs to the Gravediggers.

Eva Rothschild is a Detective Inspector with Interpol and is the one responsible for catching MI-6’s most notorious agent in his final heist—except the heist killed him. But something has never felt right about his death, and it’s haunted her for months. It was too easy, and Dante Malcolm was too smart to go down that way.

Dante might belong to the Gravediggers in body, but his heart and soul will always belong to the next job. The rest of the team doesn’t know about his alter ego because he made sure the information went missing from his file. So when the job he’s always waited for seems like a possibility, he sneaks out of the country like a thief in the night, only to run into the only woman who’s ever been able to match him in wit—and passion—for the job. Except they’re standing on opposite sides of the law—and only one of them can walk away with the prize.

My Review:

The final installment of the Gravediggers series (maybe) and I think it was the best one. I loved this story. 

Dante and Eva were involved and in love before. The problem...Dante was also a thief and living a double life that Eva knew nothing about. In fact, Eva was the agent on the case actively trying to capture Simon, Dante's alter-ego. So, when it came out who Dante was and he died...she was devastated. 

The thing is...Dante didn't die. He was recruited/forced into life as a Gravedigger. But he's still maintained a double life...something that he seems fairly adept at, doing extra missions for the Gravediggers boss. So when Eva runs into Dante on another mission, she isn't exactly thrilled to see him, although the chemistry between them is hotter than ever. And they are both in grave danger on this mission so it's not exactly the time to fight...or not work together for the better good. 

I liked it. There was a lot of emotion to the story, both from Dante and Eva. For her, he deceived her in every single possible way. For him, he had to leave her. He had no choice. Their love is really deep and pure, but there's so much standing in the way to them finding happy, it's hard to see how the author would fix all this for them. 

The story was really good. The romance was scorching and nail-biting and even at times sweet. The suspense story line was great and tied in perfectly with Eva's background. I enjoyed every minute of reading this book. I started out listening to it on audio (which was fantastic) but then my impatience got to the better of me. I can read faster than I can listen, so I had to snatch up my print copy to finish it. It was just a great book. I really hope there are more to come in this series.

Misconduct by Samantha Kane

Title: Misconduct
Author: Samantha Kane
My Rating: A

Genre: Erotic Romance (m/m/f)
Series:  Birmingham Rebels #4
Main Characters: Tom, Carmina, and Danny
Release Date: August 2017
Publisher: Loveswept
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: erotic

Story Overview:
The Birmingham Rebels play both sides of the field, proving that the hottest action isn’t always in the arena.

Rookie running back Tom Kelly loves the perks of football stardom. Men, women—there’s no shortage of companionship for a pro athlete who’s hot, young, and willing, and Tom is definitely willing. But deep down he wants a committed three-way relationship, especially if the female in the middle is Carmina de la Cruz. The undeniably sexy Army veteran may not say much, but her body speaks loud and clear.

After a traumatic tour in Afghanistan, Carmina is struggling to regain her speech and rebuild her life. More than anything, she wants to feel like a woman again. Tom may be a wholesome All-American, but he knows just how she needs to be touched—and he’s not the only Rebel who arouses her interest. With his scorching intensity, Tom’s best friend leaves her wondering if two players might be better than one.

Danny Smith is no stranger to his team’s kinky reputation. He gave in to temptation once, but he’s not going down that road again. Sure, Carmina’s curves promise pleasure, but her eyes guarantee it comes with baggage—and Danny has enough of his own. Still, giving up control can feel so good. And when it comes to everything Danny craves, Carmina and Tom make the perfect team.

My Review:

I love this series. Every time one of these books releases, I know I'm going to enjoy it. Samantha Kane is the queen of making a triad relationship work in romance.

So, this story. We've met all the characters before, but the most interesting I think is Carmina. A former soldier, she's still dealing with TBI and PTSD injuries after getting hurt in the same blast that Sam was in (from one of the former books). In fact, the whole reason she's in Birmingham is so that she could be close to Sam, her best friend who understands like no one else can what she's going through. It's been three years...three very long, very rough years, where Carmina's life (including her sex life) has been put on hold. When she decides to end that drought, it only makes sense that she does so through the only social circle she has...Sam's football team.

And this is where Tom comes in to the story. Tom is the good guy. He's the sweet fun guy that everyone loves just because he's like a puppy...happy go lucky and just a great guy to be around. Tom is also fully enjoying this new sexual buffet that he's found in the NFL...guys, girls, it doesn't matter. He likes sex and is just enjoying all the sex that life has to offer. Tom has always been fascinated by Carmina and her fabulous butt. But Tom is also intrigued with someone else, his roommate Danny, who is NOT so sexually free. Danny is NOT comfortable with his attraction to men and being dominated. 

There are other little details at play in this group, but they are so delicious, I don't want to spoil them. Just know that Samantha Kane did an amazing job setting up this triad so that each part of the three is needed to make it work. And work it, this story is sexy and hot...and yes, even romantic. I loved every single minute of reading it and can't wait to read more from this series. I love these Birmingham Rebels and the way that they embrace doing the unexpected. They are an incredible team and I wish they were real so I could cheer them throughout the season. I love them and all the characters that the author has created here. 

It's simply a GREAT series and this is another winning installment in it. And don't can totally read any of these books as stand-alones.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Until You Loved Me by Brenda Novak

Title: Until You Loved Me
Author: Brenda Novak
My Rating: A-

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series:  Silver Springs #3
Main Characters: Hudson and Ellie
Release Date: August 2017
Publisher: Mira
Links to Purchase

Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
Sometimes starting over means finding everything you’ve been missing…

After catching her fiancé cheating—with another man–usually straight-laced, workaholic scientist Ellie Fisher liberates her wild side just long enough to indulge in a passionate one-night-stand with a tall, dark stranger she meets at a trendy Miami bar. Embarrassed by her recklessness, she ducks out the following morning without learning the guy’s full name, something that shouldn’t have been a problem…until a pregnancy test turns positive.

Being a professional football player, Hudson King has always been cautious around women. But this one had been different—so disinterested in his celebrity, so convincingly into him. When Ellie tracks him down, claiming she’s carrying his baby, he’s stunned. And more than a little betrayed.

But after growing up as an orphan, he’ll do anything to stay involved in his child’s life, so he urges Ellie to move to Silver Springs where they can co-parent. Hudson has a lot of love to give—certainly enough for his child, and when their initial spark reignites, perhaps for Ellie too…

My Review:
I really liked this book, although Hudson and Ellie are the most unlikely couple ever. He's one of the most recognized quarterbacks in the NFL and she has no clue who he is because she's a scientist who spends all her life in the lab. But when she finds out her fiance is gay and cheating on her, her friend decides she needs a night out to let loose. Well, Ellie does and of course you know what's going to happen...there are repercussions. 

I liked Ellie and Hudson together...a lot. She's a very straight-forward, no nonsense woman. She looks at the logic of things and weighs the pros and cons. Hudson wants to be involved with his baby's life and they live on two different coasts. That's not acceptable. So he offers her a deal which she accepts. 

They go into this thinking this is just a realistic arrangement, but that chemistry that hit them the night they met starts to work its magic.

The part of this story that really worked for me was Hudson's background. He was found under a bush as a newborn. It's a riveting story for a famous NFL athlete. That made all his conflict about a baby very realistic. He never planned on bringing a child into this world and is always VERY careful. As a result, he's awful to Ellie when she finally manages to track him down. Those scenes are some of the best and most emotional in the book. But it felt like a realistic reaction based upon what he knows.

Overall this was a good book. I enjoyed it. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Say I'm Yours by Corinne Michaels (audiobook)

Title:  Say I'm Yours
Author: Corinne Michaels
My Rating: A-
Narrator: Andi Arndt and Sebastion York

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: Return to Me #3
Main Characters: Grace and Trent
Release Date: April 2017 (audiobook)
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
From New York Times Bestseller, Corinne Michaels, comes a new second chance standalone romance.

I spent twenty years waiting for Trent Hennington to open his eyes and see me. But it was all for nothing. He chose to keep himself guarded and let me walk away, proving that my time and efforts were wasted.

I’m done being invisible.
It’s time to move on.

A single dance sets my new reality into motion, and I welcome it. After all, Cooper Townsend is perfect. He’s kind, sexy, and attentive—everything a girl could want.

I thought I got it right this time.
That my heart could mend, and I would be happy.
Apparently, some things really are just too hard to walk away from.

My Review:
Overall: 4.25
Performance: 4.5
Story: 4.25

Twenty years? Grace gets the award for going above and beyond any reasonable means for sticking by her man. And I worried she was going to be too wishy-washy and more of a pushover than I could handle. Seriously? Twenty years? But she didn't disappoint. I am so glad that she finally stood up for herself and made Trent work for getting her back in this book.

And standing in the wings ready to swoop in was Cooper. I loved him and how he pushed this couple...both of them. Grace knows she can't wait for Trent any longer, but that doesn't mean she's ready to date someone else. But Cooper was relentless. I love how he kept challenging her and pursuing her...something she deserved after Trent's treatment of her. She needed to know that someone wants HER. 

Trent...sigh...there were moments when I just wanted to hit him upside his head. Seriously? He knows that he loves Grace, but still refuses to give her what she needs and deserves. On the surface that's so wrong because if he loves her, he should want her happiness, too. But he truly thinks that he's the wrong choice for her, but that doesn't mean he's ready for someone else to be the right choice for her. 

The one thing I loved about this story...for these two their love has always just been between each other. Trent has issues, but he's never even considered dating someone else and I kind of love him for that. 

There were moments this story was so frustrating, just because Trent was so frustrating, but in the end, it turned into a gorgeous love story. The twists at the end were unexpected, but they really proved the strength of the bond between Trent and Grace.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Oh Henry by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

Title: Oh Henry
Author: Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
My Rating: B+

Genre: New Adult Romance 
Series: OHellNo #2
Main Characters: Henry and Elle
Release Date: August 2017
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
From New York Times Bestseller, Mimi Jean Pamfiloff, Comes OH, HENRY, Book Two of the Ohellno Series. (Stand Alone Story.)

My name is Henry Walton, and though I’ve been called many things throughout my life—tree trunk, moose, walrus—I am now six foot five, solid muscle, and the hottest defensive end in the NFL college draft. This is the moment I’ve been waiting for: fame, women, and glory. 

Just one problem: I’m suddenly in a bad slump. And it started the moment I got dumped by Elle, the nerdy goddess with thick glasses, a smokin’ hot body, and a genius IQ.
So what gives? We only dated for a few weeks, and it’s not like I’ve missed her. (Much.) Regardless, all the facts point to one conclusion. Elle is my lucky nerd-charm. 

Call me superstitious, but I have to get her back before I lose everything. Even if she’s the last girl I should want and she now hates my guts.

My Review:
Okay, first things first. I read this book without having read book #1, but I didn't feel like I was missing anything. This book is a stand alone in that regard. BUT...and this is a big one. This book ends on a cliffhanger (although not for the couple who are in a really good place at the end). The cliffie is about the circumstances that they live in. It will be interesting to see how the author finishes up this story line in the next book (which looks like it's someone else's story...hmm. I'm intrigued.)

Also it should be noted that I'm not a huge romantic comedy reader. For me (and it totally looks like I'm in the minority here...and I blame that totally on the statement before this) there were moments in the book which just seemed harsh rather than funny. I was NOT an Elle fan for a lot of the book. I get that she's nerdy and awkward, but to me she just came off as mean and uncaring through a lot of the book. (and that's where my 4 star rating came from) 

But by the end of the book I was a fan of both characters and was cheering them on as they moved toward making this relationship work. 

So, who are the characters? Henry is a football player from a very prestigious oil family. His father hates that he plays football and is constantly doing all he can to force Henry into working at the family business and give up his dream of football, despite the promise that he's going to be a first round draft pick. His father cares only about his business and making money and if he has to plow over his son to get his way, he will. 

Elle is brilliant. She graduated from high school at the age of 13. That didn't do anything though except make her feel like an outcast. She refused to go to college, but now that her mother is dying of cancer, she buckled to her mother's wish for her. Needless to say, Elle is brilliant and extremely logical. She read all the college texts years ago to earn 30 degrees. The knowledge is in her head. She just doesn't have the degrees to back it up. She views Henry as shallow...and I'll be honest...that grated on me. She is so smart, but she looks down on him although he's maintaining a 3.3 while playing college level championship football. Henry is not a dumb guy, but she treats him like he is...ugh. 

But to be honest, they both have some overinflated ego issues. sigh. 

But like I said, by the end I did enjoy the story and cannot wait for the next book. I need to know what happens now...because I really liked how Elle and Henry had sorted everything out. I don't want all that to get ruined. 

Waiting on pins and needles for the next book to come...

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Promo Post: Elliott Redeemed by Scarlett Cole

ELLIOTT REDEEMED by Scarlett Cole Pre-Order Blitz!

A single mom and tortured musician find common ground in Scarlett Cole's REDEEMED, the second standalone romance about the band PRELOAD. Elliott “Pyro” Dawson has a past he's fought like hell to overcome and Kendalee Walker is at her wits end and homeless. Will Kendale provide the family Elliott has never had or will dangerous habits prove to strong? Readers will savor this dark, sexy rockstar romance.

ELLIOTT REDEEMED releases next week and we can’t wait for you to read this sexy Rockstar romance! Pre-order today to not miss this dark and sexy read. Plus enter to win a Preload Bundle!

A single mom and tortured musician find common ground in Scarlett Cole's Elliott Redeemed, the second standalone romance about the band Preload.
Elliott “Pyro” Dawson burns up the lead guitar like a legend. But the nickname Pyro isn’t just a clever play on words. It’s much darker. A past he's fought like hell to overcome.
Grocery store cashier Kendalee Walker is at her wits end and homeless. She's watched her fourteen-year-old son, Daniel, go so far off the rails, he can no longer see the tracks.
When the two are brought together, attraction flares, but can Elliott find the family he never had with the sexy woman and her son, or will he fall back on dangerous habits?

Pre-order Now: Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | iBooks | Chapters Indigo
Amazon UK
Chapters Indigo

Enter to win a Preload Bundle!
(Signed paperback copies of JORDAN RECLAIMED & ELLIOTT REDEEMED + $10 Amazon Gift Card)

Copyright © 2017 Scarlett Cole

As she turned, Elliott appeared in front of her.
“I was sitting down here,” he said roughly, “because knowing you were in that bathtub only a floor away was fucking killing me.”
She hadn’t heard him come home, but he’d obviously been there a while, as he wore a pair of shorts that rode low on his hips and nothing else. Maybe it was the alcohol making her bolder, but she wanted to run her fingers down the lines of muscle that led down into his shorts. “Elliott,” she whispered, taking a step toward him. She placed her hand over his heart, a heart she knew was capable of good things. His skin was warm, his muscles solid, and she took comfort from the fact he was here with her and that she wasn’t alone. Tentatively, she stroked her hand down his chest, but Elliott placed his hand over hers and studied her intently. His eyes, heavy lidded, telling her that he wanted her as much as she did him.
What was he waiting for? It had all made sense to stand her ground, to not get involved. But now, feeling as she did in her sexy new nightgown after years of feeling unwanted, none of it was relevant. She stepped up onto her toes and pressed her lips to his.
Elliott groaned against her and ran his tongue along the seam of her lips, and she opened for him immediately. He nudged the robe off her shoulders, and it slithered to the floor. Softly, he nuzzled his way along her jaw, and kissed her as he had the previous evening along the side of her neck, leaving her knees weak.
Kendalee slipped her fingers into his hair, holding him close. Her heart beat so furiously that she was certain Elliott could hear it. Finally. She’d get to experience what it was to let go and make love with someone who wanted her as she was.
He gripped the silk of her nightdress, pulling it tight around her hips, then let go and slid his hands down her thighs until he reached the hem of the gown. Rough fingertips danced along her skin. In two steps, he backed her up against the counter, then lifted her as if she weighed nothing, making her gasp as the cool marble met her heated skin.
The sensations were impossible to absorb. From the way his stubble tickled her cheek as he kissed her again to the way his calloused hands gripped her knees and pressed them open. As the nightdress rose up her thighs, Elliott stared at the space between them. She was naked beneath the slip of silk, and for a moment, she panicked, trying to recall just how many weeks ago it had been since she’d had the privacy to shave her bikini line.
“Fuck.” Elliott groaned as his hands slid higher, his thumbs almost touching her most intimate places. “We can’t,” he then said and stepped away.

About Scarlett Cole
The tattoo across my right hip says it all really. A Life Less Ordinary. Inked by the amazingly talented Luke Wessman at the Wooster Street Social Club (a.k.a. New York Ink). Why is it important? Well, it sums up my view on life. That we should all aspire to live a life that is less boring, less predictable. Be bold, and do something amazing. I’ve made some crazy choices. I’ve been a car maker, a consultant, and even a senior executive at a large retailer running strategy. Born in England, spent time in the U.S. and Japan, before ending up in Canada were I met my own, personal hero – all six and a half feet of him. Both of us are scorpios! Yeah, I know! Should have checked the astrological signs earlier, but somehow it works for us. We have two amazing kids, who I either could never part with or could easily be convinced to sell on e-bay.
I’ve wanted to be a writer for a really long time. Check through my office cupboards or my computer and you’ll find half written stories and character descriptions everywhere. Now I'm getting the chance to follow that dream.
Connect with Scarlett: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter